darryl cunningham (tallguywrites) wrote,
darryl cunningham

My Mental Health Rant

Update on Jennie who is now in hospital after cutting her wrists.

My brother tells me that this is not the first time that she's done this. I find it hard to feel sympathetic. Jennie's very typical of a certain type of patient I would often see on the psychiatric wards. On the ward at any one time, there would always be a small group of patients who didn't need to be in hospital, but had contrived to be admitted for reasons other than health. This may sound deeply cynical on my part, but I've witnessed this hundreds of times. I can't speak for other places, but the mental health system here in Britain is easily exploited by those who know how. Superficially cut your wrists, take an overdose and then immediately go to the hospital (or just say you've taken an overdose), claim that you're hearing voices urging you to kill yourself. No doctor finds it easy to turn away apparently suicidal people, no matter how suspicious they may be of the patient's motives.

Once in hospital and having settled on the ward, it's amazing how chatty and sociable these people become, showing good concentration and no sign of depression (except on doctor's ward round days, when there would be a curious relapse). You may say to me, well surely someone who would go to such extremes as to get themselves admitted to a psychiatric ward must need help? But, in saying this, you have to understand that people who have a court case coming up, or like Jennie, are homeless, are quite prepared to go to such extremes. Many do need help, because they'll have debts, housing issues, criminal cases pending, but a psychiatric ward isn't the right place for at all. A psychiatric in-patient ward should be helping those ill with mental health problems, not constantly struggling to aid the socially inadequate, criminal, or just plain lazy, to fix their broken lives.

Yeah, I'm kinda angry about this.
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